Archive

ShareThis Page
Review: Nothing remotely fantastic about this ‘Four’ | TribLIVE.com
Movies/TV

Review: Nothing remotely fantastic about this ‘Four’

Bloomberg News
| Thursday, August 6, 2015 8:55 p.m
FilmReviewFantasticFourJPEG09bba
20th Century Fox
Miles Teller (left) and Michael B. Jordan in 'Fantastic Four'

Directed by Josh Trank, “Fantastic Four,” the inexplicably plodding and dreary new attempt to adapt the beloved Marvel story, is not wholesale terrible — just depressingly mediocre, and at a certain point you sort of start wishing it were definitively terrible, because that would at least make it more entertaining.

It’s not that the raw materials aren’t there. Aside from the known story — science-loving humans experience a cosmic accident while exploring inter-dimensional travel and emerge with formidable superpowers — we have some talented actors on-hand. They include the usually compelling Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan, along with Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Reg E. Cathey (“The Wire”) and an expertly creepy Tim Blake Nelson.

It all begins promisingly, with a setup that introduces Reed Richards and Ben Grimm as fifth-graders on Long Island. Reed is a science nerd who tells his class his life goal is “to be the first person in human history to teleport myself.” The teacher directs Reed to come back with a more realistic goal.

But the precocious lad has already developed a mini-version of said teleporter. Years later, Reed (now Teller) is back with his invention at the high-school science fair. Here, he and Ben meet Dr. Franklin Storm (Cathey) and daughter Sue (Mara), who realize what Reed has — a better teleporter than their own. Storm gives Reed a scholarship at his science institute to pursue his dream.

There, Reed meets Storm’s son Johnny (Jordan), a reluctant scientist but expert builder, and the disaffected but talented young scientist Victor von Doom (Toby Kebbell). Soon, they’re a team. Eventually, the full-blown teleporter is ready. One night, they all get tipsy and decide to take a test spin.

Oops! They end up on Planet Zero, aka the other dimension, but we’ll just call it Planet-Very-Bad-CGI. Reed’s curiosity leads him close to a mysterious energy force, and havoc ensues. When the group returns, they’re forever changed.

The best scene is where everyone discovers their new forms. Reed (Mister Fantastic) has limbs that stretch indefinitely. Johnny (Human Torch) is a blaze of flames. Sue (Invisible Woman) can disappear. Poor Ben (The Thing), is unrecognizable, a powerful mass of rocks.

The movie’s final scene has the team standing together, speaking dialogue that becomes so silly, people erupted in laughter at my screening.

The end result? Something much less than fantastic.

Jocelyn Noveck is a film critic for the Associated Press.

Categories: Movies TV
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.